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"It's as if we're trying to cure cigarette smoking by handing out cigarette holders and ash trays” … “It's time for a new path forward"

For those of you who are not aware (including myself until I spent some time on Know Your Source) Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate narcotic … and heroin, cocaine, oxycodone, and other drugs are often cut with it.  For anyone using illegal drugs, cut with fentanyl, it can’t be seen, smelled, or tasted … making it deadly!

And what do the news headlines say about the toxicity and deadliness of fentanyl laced drugs?  Here’s just a small sample:

“Up to 13 people die from drug overdoses in B.C. within hours”

“British Columbia’s coroners’ service says there were
136 suspected overdose deaths in the province in April”

“Drug overdose deaths in BC up 88 per cent from same time last year”

“BC records second-highest monthly fatal overdoses so far in 2018”

“Drug overdose among the top 10 causes of death in BC”

“Overdose deaths remain high and indicate drug supply is ‘unsafe and toxic’”

Looking at a report from the BC Coroners Services, which summarized all unintentional drug overdose deaths (from illegal drugs) between January 1st and July 31 of this year, what you will find is nothing but bad news.

For instance, July saw a 25% increase in deaths (to 134) from the previous month, and year over year the number deaths had increased by 12%.  In the month of July – each and every day – there was an average of 4.3 deaths due to drug overdoses.

Sadly, 72% of those dying were between to ages of 30 and 59 … and, those between 19 and 59, according to the Coroners’ Report, accounted for a tragic 90% of illicit drug overdose deaths by the end of July.

Here’s a few more ugly numbers
The rate of illicit drug overdose deaths in BC was 31 deaths per 100,000 people so far this year, with men accounting for a staggering 80 percent of that number!

In July, the number of illicit drug overdose deaths equaled 4.3 per day for the month.

And FENTANYL is the BIGGEST Killer, according to the BC Coroners Branch!  The proportion of illicit drug overdose deaths for which illicit fentanyl was detected was approximately 84% last year, and to date it is accounting for 81%.

We are seeing 4.3 deaths per day … which by year end could end up with a death toll of 1,569

ONE THOUSAND, FIVE HUNDRED, AND SIXTY-NINE people cut down in the prime of their lives.

Wednesday, in a media release, interim BC Conservative Party leader Scott Anderson said,
"Having dealt with addictions in both my family and almost daily as a municipal issue, it came as a real surprise to learn that the vast bulk of the provincial medical resources dedicated to addictions is devoted to harm reduction, with treatment relegated almost to the status of an afterthought.”

"It's as if we're trying to cure cigarette smoking by handing out cigarette holders and ash trays”, and then continued, “It's time for a new path forward."

Government, however, seems content to simply pick the low hanging fruit, rather than going after the real criminals and murderers

BC’s Attorney General David Eby was quoted in the Globe and Mail saying, “While much attention has been focused on the effects of street drugs contaminated by illicit fentanyl and carfentanil, there is another side of this crisis”.

Calling the overdose deaths, a “terrible toll”, Eby said (pharmaceutical) companies were responsible because of their “negligence and corruption” over the last 20 years.

You won’t catch me saying they aren’t responsible (at least in part) for drug overdose deaths – but Eby is wrong, totally wrong, when he attempts to lay the blame for the ‘terrible toll’ in their laps.

The pharmaceutical companies aren’t manufacturing the deadly poison laced with fentanyl, which is killing hundreds every month.  It’s the individuals with enough money to bring in the deadly stuff, often times from China, who are creating the poison, and who then get off with a slap on the wrist – generally a jail term of under 24 months.

WHY is that, when they should be getting charged with at the very minimum Manslaughter?  I am of the opinion that these heartless money grubbers should be charged with First Degree Murder, more fitting to the deaths they inflict.  They are manufacturing untold millions of doses of illegal drugs, with deadly amounts of fentanyl added, knowing they can, and will, kill people.

Isn’t the very definition of Murder planning to kill someone?  They should be found, charged, found guilty, the proceeds of their crimes taken, and then they should be locked away for the longest period of time possible.  And the Attorney General should be calling for this to be done today – right now!

But that’s just one part of the problem.  Another, is one which the Province of Nova Scotia already has a handle on.

This past Friday the province’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Robert Strang, told a news conference that the number of opioid overdose deaths in Nova Scotia has remained stable in the past year --- a success in a country where the number of accidental opioid-related deaths continues to rise.

The fact that we’re not increasing is an indication of the positive impact of the work we’re doing and the investments made,” Strang said

He stated their province has committed stable, annual funding to combat the problem, which has resulted in the opening of three new treatment centres, a substantial increase in the number of people receiving treatment, and reduced waiting lists and wait times.

Let me repeat that.  New Treatment Centres … an increase in the number of people receiving treatment … and … reduced wait times.

Meantime, the BC NDP government just blows smoke out of their a$$e$, even as Judy Darcy, the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, tells us that the overdose death represents “the worse public health crisis to hit our province in decades.”

What does Jordan Westfall, executive director of the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs, have to say?  Only that, “Her government’s funding support doesn’t match her rhetoric.”

He looked at ministry budgets and found that the annual budget for the Ministry of Health, headed by Adrian Dix, is $17 billion. Darcy’s budget?  Just $9.9 million … just 0.058 per cent of the Ministry of Health budget.

“She needs to acknowledge that this isn’t nearly enough to make an impact on the overdose epidemic”, stated Westfall

And as the BC Conservatives Scott Anderson also stated, “We can keep taking the easy - and frankly cheapest - way out by focusing on harm reduction and continue ignoring the actual issue"

“But there is a better way and in the long run it'll save both money and heartbreak for the families involved.", he continued.

Everything, and I mean everything, that the government needs to know about dealing with the crisis has already been researched, and a plan is available to implement.

Which is why Anderson’s BC Conservatives endorsed the findings of "Strategies to Strengthen Recovery in British Columbia: The Path Forward," – a report from the BC Centre for Substance Abuse – and one which it would be hard to argue isn’t a common sense approach to the problem.

The report, and plan, takes the position that expanding and improving recovery services is a key element of creating a coordinated and effective continuum of addiction care.

It goes on to suggest that while it is critically important to provide life-saving public health services and effective acute treatment services, it is also necessary to develop and strengthen long-term recovery-oriented services to support people struggling with addiction.  This includes empowering people in recovery, and individuals and their families, to support one another in their pursuit of improved health and well-being.

The case has already been made there is a need … Nova Scotia on the opposite end of the country is already implementing what’s needed to make change … and the BC Centre on Substance Use has provided the BC government with everything needed

BC’s Attorney General is calling the overdose deaths, a “terrible toll

BC’s Minister of Mental Health and Abdications says overdose deaths represents “the worse public health crisis to hit our province in decades.”

So then, do something about it, because no one wants to see the death toll continue as it has.

In Kamloops, I’m Alan Forseth, and I hope you’ll join the discussion.  Do you agree … disagree?  Let me know by posting your thoughts in the Comment Section directly below.


  1. Going after the source of the problem (arresting dealers) and increasing penalties sounds like a great idea. Take out the source of the problem and punish them severely to deter those who might be tempted to try it makes a lot of sense in a logical way. But that idea has been tried for decades and it has been an abject failure. The results are clear. The war on drugs has been going on since the 80s and has brought nothing but misery and ruined lives, and the drug problem is worse than ever. Prohibition has also been an ultra-expensive failure that has corrupted our legal system and police. There is nothing positive to report about the war on drugs. Wouldn't stepping it up even more just be doubling down on a huge mistake?

    1. I'm talking about taking out the top end ... the pimps who live in multi-million dollar mansions, driving quarter million dollar cars. They're the ones who are importing fentanyl, setting up labs to produce the poison, and then sending out the runners peddling the stuff. I don't believe those at the top are unknown, just takes willpower and money to focus on them, and send THEM to prison rather than the little guy on the street selling to feed their own habit.

      I don't disagree with your thgoughts Wayne, however these pukes haven't had charges of murder thrown at them -- might slow thibgs diwn. If not they end up where they deserve, and hopefully for longer .. at least 25 years

  2. The answer is to legalize all drugs. I know this doesn't sell well to the electorate but Google Portugal. Portugal legalized all drugs and deaths went down, addiction went down. Every drug statistic improved. Currently, drug markets here operate outside the law, and they are run by bad people who use violence to settle disputes. Legalization would result in the drug market operating WITHIN THE LAW, and would be taken over by people operating within the law. They could settle disputes by legal means. The end of alcohol prohibition is a great example. At least it's worth a try versus doubling down on a clearly failed experiment. I realize it's never going to happen in Canada, but it's a compassionate, logical solution that takes human nature into account. Drugs are never going away. Human beings will always use drugs. They even use them in prison.

    1. Legalizing will be a very tough sell, but not impossible. It's going to require educating the public to the positive impact of this solution. Care to pen an op / ed piece on that as a first step??

    2. I am not much of a writer but my wife has told me I should give it a shot putting down some of my ideas. Don't hold your breath but I will consider it.


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